Jewish, the Musical
Jewish songs have long been a cornerstone of Jewish culture and a beloved part of the world's musical heritage. The Jewish musical tradition is rich and varied, reflecting the Jewish people's history, culture, and experiences. However, many songs are written in Hebrew, Yiddish, or other languages that are not widely spoken or understood outside of Jewish communities, making sharing their beauty with the wider world a challenge.
Enter "Jewish, the Musical", a groundbreaking project led by trailblazer and musical theater innovator Hudson Kin that adapts and translates Jewish songs into English and Russian, making them accessible to a wider audience. The project has already translated and adapted over 35 Jewish standards, including "Tumbalalaika," "Oyfn Pripetchik," "Hatikvah," "A Bisele Mazl," “Rebbe Elimelech”, “Rabbeinu Tam” and "Chiribim Chiribom," among others.
Central to the project is the story of Emma Glick, a young woman who discovers her Jewish roots and embarks on a transformative journey through Jewish music and culture. Emma's captivating story serves as a connecting thread throughout the project, providing a relatable narrative that will resonate with audiences of all backgrounds.
The Russian rendition of "Hava Nagila" is a striking example of the project's work. The adaptation introduces themes like the passage of time, the inevitability of death, and overcoming adversity while retaining the spirit of the original Hebrew song, which emphasizes rejoicing, celebration, and unity. This unique adaptation has garnered over a million views and thousands of comments on the project's YouTube channel, highlighting its emotional impact on people worldwide.
A few of the most touching comments from the YouTube channel include:
"I am Russian! BUT I love Jewish songs very much! And I am in awe of this performance of a famous song in Russian!!! THANK YOU!!!"
"I'm not Jewish, but this music turns my whole soul inside out!"
"I will start every morning with this song. Thank you for the translation. Peace to all nations."
These comments demonstrate the power of music to bridge cultural divides and resonate with a diverse audience. By adapting and translating these traditional Jewish songs, "Jewish, the Musical" not only preserves their cultural significance but also highlights the universal themes that connect people from all walks of life, fostering understanding and connection.
As the world becomes increasingly interconnected and diverse, cultural exchange and understanding become more important than ever. "Jewish, the Musical" serves as a bridge between different cultures and communities, demonstrating that despite our differences, we all share a common humanity and a love for music. It also allows Jewish people to find new ways to express their ethnic identity while simultaneously sharing and celebrating their rich heritage with a wider audience.
"Jewish, the Musical" offers a message of hope and resilience by exploring themes such as love, loss, and perseverance, reminding us of the power of music to heal and inspire. Through our adaptations of traditional Jewish songs, we hope to share the beauty and richness of the Jewish musical tradition with audiences worldwide, helping Jews find new vehicles to express their ethnic identity while also celebrating the universal themes that unite us all.
As "Jewish, the Musical" gains momentum, its impact on both Jewish and musical communities is apparent. The Russian Jewish Congress and Jewish Museum in Moscow have recognized the project's potential as a symbol of cultural exchange and understanding. In a divided world, "Jewish, the Musical" reminds us that music can unite us all by reinvigorating the Jewish musical tradition through the adaptation and translation of classic songs, showcasing their beauty and depth.
Highlighting the rich history and cultural heritage of the Jewish people, "Jewish, the Musical" traces its roots to the shtetls of Eastern Europe and the early 20th-century Yiddish theater. The project has already garnered praise and attention from various media outlets and cultural organizations, including the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research. The ANU Museum of the Jewish People, the largest Jewish museum in the world located in Tel-Aviv, Israel, has already started to host songs from “Jewish, the Musical” on its website and database. The museum also plans to include them in its educational programs, further showcasing the project's impact and reach.
Ultimately, the project exemplifies the power of music to bring people together, transcend cultural barriers, and celebrate shared human experiences. By adapting and translating beloved Jewish songs, the project fosters understanding and appreciation among diverse audiences, showcasing music's potential as a unifying force in a divided world.
Though unintentionally, "Jewish, the Musical" combats antisemitism in its own way, even more effectively than rallies and lectures, by fostering love and appreciation for Jewish songs and culture. As the "Jewish Songs. In Russian" project has already proven, when people fall in love with Jewish songs, it opens their hearts and minds to the beauty and depth of Jewish culture, promoting understanding and unity.
In a world where antisemitism still exists, "Jewish, the Musical" offers a unique and powerful approach to building bridges between communities, demonstrating that through the universal language of music, we can overcome divisions and foster a more inclusive and understanding society.
Walter J KinAuthor
Hudson KinName of Band or Artist
Project Type:Song, Other
Genres:Klezmer, Klezmer Pop, Jewish Worship, Jewish Pop, Yiddish Swing, Israeli Pop, Jewish Ballroom, Jewish folk, Ladino genres, other Jewish songs and dance genres
Length:2 hours 35 minutes
Country of Origin:United States
Hudson Kin, a talented lyricist and musical theater writer based in New York City, has garnered acclaim for his groundbreaking project "Jewish, the Musical" and as the visionary behind the "Jewish Next" initiative. Born to Mizrahi Jewish parents in Russia, Hudson's passion for Jewish music was sparked in his childhood, later flourishing during his service in the Israeli Defense Forces and his studies at a yeshiva in Israel. There, he encountered an inspiring array of Jewish songs that ignited his purpose.
Motivated by a vision to make Jewish music accessible to English-speaking audiences, Hudson established the "Jewish Songs for All" initiative, translating and adapting a diverse selection of Jewish songs into English. His repertoire encompasses beloved tunes such as "Hava Nagila" and historically significant songs that showcase the rich tapestry of Jewish music.
Collaborating with renowned music professionals, Hudson has produced enthralling recordings available on YouTube and various music platforms. These masterpieces have amassed over ten million streams in under three years, without any advertising. Writer, poet, and translator Olga Anikina has provided exceptional Russian-language adaptations for over 35 "Jewish Standards," which are now being translated into English.
Hudson and his dedicated team remain steadfast in their mission to elevate these timeless melodies into worldwide sensations, highlighting the vibrant cultural mosaic of Jewish heritage. Through his unwavering commitment to preserving and promoting Jewish culture and history, Hudson's work on "Jewish, the Musical" fosters a more profound understanding and appreciation of Jewish culture among diverse audiences across the globe.
At JewishNext, our mission is to champion diversity and inclusion through our uniquely and openly Jewish brands, such as "Jewish, the Musical," "Jewish Snack," and more. We believe that the combined power of entertainment and cuisine can bridge cultural divides, celebrate our unique differences, and foster mutual understanding. Our groundbreaking projects, including "Jewish Songs. In Russian," "Jewish, the Musical," and "Jewish Snack," aim to share the rich cultural heritage and traditions of the Jewish community on an international platform. We cordially invite you to join us on this transformative journey towards a more inclusive and diverse world—one where we wholeheartedly embrace and cherish our differences, and where the values of friendship, inclusion, tolerance, and diversity flourish.